It’s tax refund season! If you have a refund due this year and you’re getting antsy for it, you can check its status easily with this simple web-based tool from the IRS web site. You’ll need to provide your social security number, marital status, and exact refund amount in order for your request to be processed.
If you are receiving a large refund, consider having your employer adjust your W-4 so that less is withheld from your paycheck. This will, in essence, spread your refund out over the course of a year. If you have the discipline to use this money wisely, you’ll have use of it much earlier than if you had waited for a refund.
Before this year, I always loved a huge tax refund. Because I was undisciplined with money, this small windfall was a great way to force myself to save. I knew all about the arguments against a tax refund, but I chose to get one anyway.
I have more discipline with money now, and a tax refund no longer appeals to me. But I’m still not ready to argue that a tax refund is bad for everyone. If a large refund makes you happy, if it helps you to save, then do it. Just be aware that there’s a better financial option when you’re ready for it.
Also, Bankrate has a list of 10 smart things to do with your tax refund. Number one? Pay down your credit cards!
[Internal Revenue Service: Get refund status]